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Suicide attack in Islamabad hotel kills 3

Suicide attack in Islamabad hotel kills 3

Author: PTI
Publication: Rediff.com
Date: January 26, 2007

Three persons were killed and five others injured on Friday in a suicide bomb attack at Marriot hotel in Islamabad, where the Indian High Commission planned to hold a Republic Day reception later in the evening.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao told media persons that a suicide bomber trying to enter the five-star hotel through the emergency exit blew himself up, also killing a security guard.

He said two persons were killed even though television channels maintained that three persons had died in the explosion. Five others were injured.

Some vehicles in the car parking area were damaged. The blast took place hours before the Indian High Commission was to hold a Republic Day reception at the hotel. Media reports in Islamabad the hotel has begun evacuating the guests to other places.

Meanwhile, private ARY TV reported that several journalists were injured when police lathi-charged media persons covering the incident. This is the second blast in the hotel in as many years.

The explosion prompted the government to declare a 'red alert' in Islamabad, as also in sensitive cities like Karachi and Peshawar.

Pakistani security officials were not certain about the cause of the explosion.

While the Republic Day reception was due to be held in the hotel between 7 and 9 pm IST, Pakistan is also under heightened alert ahead of Muharram to prevent any sectarian tensions between Shia and Sunni extremist groups.

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